Tuesday, May 23, 2006

...a little more time

I had a little more time than I thought I did, so I can answer some quick questions about MCT (Marine Combat Training). The philosophy behind the Marine Corps is that every Marine is a basic rifleman first...and whatever their job (pilot, artillery, supply clerk, etc) second. To that end, they put all non-infantry through MCT to learn basic combat skills. The end result is a communications guy, or "comm hound," can pick up several weapons in the USMC inventory and put them to good use. While at MCT, I shot hundreds of rounds out of the M16A2, the M203 grenade launcher (my personal favorite...it's mounted under the barrel of the M16), and 240G machine gun (which was a BLAST!). I also fired simulated AT-4 rockets and one M67 fragmentation grenade (after lots of mostly harmless practice grenades). Given some time at home, I'll see if I can pull some pictures together.

One other purpose I see in MCT is to prepare boot Marines for the fleet. Basic training 'forges' you...instills specific types of discipline in you...but doesn't really prepare you well for life in the real world. MCT corrects that by instilling the appropriate Marine image...and how fleet Marines really act (i.e. not like drill instructors).

In the end, I had a lot of fun, but I'm glad I'm done. I'm ready to move on to my MOS (military occupational specialty) school and get my training done. I happen to have family in the area out there, so I'm hoping to see them (and get some quality Mexican food while I'm at it). I also will have access to my cell phone and can call my wife in the evenings...which makes me very ,very happy.


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